THE CHURCH AND THE MINISTRIES
THE CHURCH AND THE MINISTRIES
Ecclesia is defined as a group of ancient Greek politicians who came to Athens to debate is an example of an ecclesia. The collective congregation of a church is an example of an ecclesia. Assembly of people is called ecclesia. Ecclesiology is the study of churches, especially church building and decoration.
The local church is a gathering of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who are committed to meet regularly for worship, teaching, fellowship, prayer, and who help make disciples of all people.
The church is the God-ordained local assembly of believers who have committed themselves to each other. They gather regularly, they teach the Word, celebrate communion and baptism, discipline their members, establish a biblical structure of leadership, they pray and give together. Certainly the church may do more, but it is not less than this.
The local church is a gathering of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This means that the church consists of those who meet together because they believe the gospel. Each member believes: I am a sinner who deserves God’s righteous judgment. He sent His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who is God in human flesh, to pay the penalty of death that I deserve. He promises that all who believe that Jesus died for their sins and was raised from the dead receive forgiveness of all their sins and eternal life as a free gift. Genuine saving faith includes turning from my sins and growing in obedience to the commandments given by Jesus and His apostles in the New Testament. This belief in the gospel is at the core of true local churches.
The local church is a gathering of those … who help make disciples of all people. This is the Great Commission that the Lord gave us (Matt. 28:19-20a): “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” This command was not just for the apostles or for missionaries who are called to go to foreign cultures. Every Christian should be involved in the process of making disciples (obedient followers of Jesus), whether locally or globally. This includes sharing the gospel with those outside of Christ, helping other believers grow in Christ, and being informed and committed to the cause of Christ worldwide.
The church is not a building, but rather the people who meet in that building.. In many countries, churches meet in houses, as the early church did. So buildings are not the church. Rather, it’s the people who are the church
Many passages predict the beginning of the church. Daniel 2 predicts a kingdom that God would set up during the Roman Empire. John the Baptist taught that this kingdom was "at hand" (Matthew 3:1,2). Later in Matthew 16:18, Jesus promised, "I will build my church." Notice that all these passages look forward to the beginning of the church. Even during Jesus' lifetime, the church did not exist, but He predicted He would build it.
If we now look toward the end of the New Testament, we will find the church definitely in existence. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul instructed men how to behave themselves "in the church." In Colossians 1:13 he said that he and other Christians were in the kingdom.
The book of Acts records the history of the early church. Acts 20:28 says that Jesus purchased the church with His blood. Moving toward the beginning of the book, we find the church in existence in Acts 8:1 and 5:11. But the book of Acts begins with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Notice that the church did not exist during Jesus' lifetime, but it did exist soon afterward. Clearly it must have begun shortly after Jesus' death.
Why not read for yourself the record of the beginning of the church? You will find it in Acts chapter 2. On a Jewish feast day called Pentecost, Peter preached the first gospel sermon. He told people to "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins" (v38), and three thousand obeyed. In the Acts 2:47 (KJV) we read: "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." The church had begun! It began in Jerusalem on Pentecost.
You can be a member of that same church in the same way people became members in Acts 2. Simply obey the same simple gospel plan of salvation and let Jesus add you to His church.
Most of us think of ministry as the work done by pastors, missionaries, Christian conference speakers, or evangelists. We rarely think of work done by bankers, lawyers, engineers, or homemakers. We typically believe that those who get their paychecks from a church or other Christian organization are the ones who “do” ministry, while the rest of us are those to whom ministry is “done.” This is common but faulty way of thinking. We want to expand your vision of ministry so that you come to view all you do, regardless of your occupation, as what it can and ought to be—ministry that glorifies God and influences other people.
The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by works done therein. … The whole world could abound with services to the Lord not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, and field.
"Ministry" is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning "to serve" or douleuo, meaning "to serve as a slave." In the New Testament, ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name. Jesus provided the pattern for Christian ministry—He came, not to receive service, but to give it :Mathew 20:28
What, then, is ministry? the purpose of ministry is (1) to bring people to saving faith in Christ and then assist them to grow in Christ-likeness; and (2) to bring every believer into a vital, authentic relationship with God through the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, such that every believer glorifies God in thought, word, and deed both in the church and in the world with the ultimate goal of presenting every one complete in Christ (Col. 1:28).
The purpose of ministry is not to “do” church. “The essence of the church must be more than just doing. The church must draw its essence from God and his righteousness and holiness. It must take shape based on his worth as Creator. It must reflect his glory as God, and when it meets and ministers, it ought to express back to God the glory due his name. There must be more to church than simple psychological encouragements, tips for improving interpersonal relationships, and helpful religious seminars.”
Ministry is not about ritual or routine religion but a living relationship with God. It is not about numerical growth but spiritual growth. It is not about programs but about people - people who are wholly focused on God, powerfully filled with the Spirit, and happily united in a community of grace; people who vibrantly exalt Christ, openly perform works of faith, accurately teach the truth, boldly proclaim the gospel in word and deed, and authentically depend upon prayer.
There can be a difference between the church and a ministry. For example, a traveling evangelist or Bible teacher is not stationed in one local church, but they have a ministry. A Christian school may be independent of a local church, yet still be a ministry. So can Christian newspapers, or hospitals. Newman Bible Academy does not belong to a church, but it is a ministry as is Seminary or Bible School where I taught. they are an arm of the church.
Looking at it another way, there is only one Church which includes all Christians who have died since the start of the church, and includes those living around the world today. Every Christian belongs to this universal church; consequently, all Christian activities would be part of the Church.
Here is another way to look at it. People in a local church also have ministries as they serve in various capacities within the church. This would include the pastor, Sunday school teachers, food servers, ushers, janitors, etc.
To minister is to serve, and in a Christian context, it is to serve in the Name of Christ in a way that fulfills the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20), and glorifies God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Ministries or ministry is often the foundation or vision of an individual or family before it becomes established. The demise of the founder may hinder or end the mission if it is not orderly or if the founder is an illiterate or not biblically sound…..While the Church is the foundation of a community who shared common faith. Churches can stand for more than a century as far as there are people in the environment where it is situate or forever till rapture…..what do you say?